Ancient Ambracia is revealed within the urban network of modern Arta, with some visible parts of the ancient walls preserved as part of the byzantine fort. It was founded in 625 B.C. by Corinthian colonists on the bank of the floatable river of Arachthos. Located in a site with considerable strategic and commercial advantages, on the main land and sea route that connects Southern Greece to the hinderland of Epirus, the city shortly developed into the most important city-state of the region.
It consisted of the asty (town) and the hinderland. Protected by a strong fortification wall, the city was built following a strict geometric urban plan. The administrative, political and religious hub, adorned with several public buildings and temples, is located in the north-western part of the city. Private residences, ordered in rectangular building blocks, occupy the remaining area, while the cemeteries extend beyond the city walls.
Important monuments are the foundations of the archaic temple of Apollo Soter, the patron god of the town, the Large Theatre and the Small Theatre built in the time of king Pyrrhus, the Prytaneion, another public building and the impressive burial route of the western Necropolis, which led to the Ambracian Gulf and Ambracos, the town’s seaport at the Ambracian Gulf. The “Pyrreion”, although mentioned in written sources, has not been found yet, while it is not clear whether the sources refer to a building or an area of the city.
Εκθέσεις ανασκαφών στα Χρονικά του Αρχαιολογικού Δελτίου, 1965 κ. εξ.
Γ. Ρήγινος, Αμβρακία, Οδηγός Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου Άρτας, Αθήνα 2008.